We had a great time checking out Broadway Across America's production of Dreamworks Madagascar Live! out at Rosemont Theatre. Word is, our family 4 pack winner and her kids had a rockin' good time, too.
I took my kids plus a family friend, another 2nd grade girl, whose favorite characters from the movie were the penguins, hands down. Then we ran into more friends there. The kids enjoyed playing the "Same and Different Game", an original invention our ours where the kids vie to spot similarities and differences between stagings of shows and the books or movies that preceded them.
There was much pre show speculation, among the under 11 set, about how the live show would handle the ship sequence and the animals going overboard. We were all surprised and impressed with just how well that translated. Through effective use of scrims, lighting and video, they pulled off a convincing island marooning.
My favorite numbers were Alex's meat dream and The Food Chain song. Funny stuff!
I'd forgotten that the movie begins with Marty's 10th birthday party, cake and attendant midlife crisis. This was particularly timely for us, as we just celebrated Du-Jay's 10th birthday a mere 3 days before the show. Fortunately, the move to double digits and tween status, was not as distressing for the boy as it was for the zebra. But the timing was a fun coincidence.
Of course the penguins were a hoot. They were funny in animated form in the movies and they're funny live, too.
Gloria, the hip checkin' hippo, proves that sometimes big is beautiful, and you don't have to be a skinny super model to attract the amor of Mr. tall, dark and spotted.
Everyone in the audience got a pair of lemur glasses and was encouraged to jump up and move it move it in a mass, lemur faced dance along. Adults and kids of all ages were laughing and gettin' jiggy with it. This was absolutely a fun introduction to live theatre for many of the youngest audience members and a chance for families to shake some multigenerational booty together.
The perfect end to the communal nature of being a live theatre audience happened on the walk to the car. My 3 charges were all hepped up and still dancing all over the sidewalk as everyone surged out of Rosemont Theatre. As my kids and their friend, Ruby, raucously sang "I like to move it move it. I like to move it move it. I like to move it move it. I like to...." A toddler in front of us belted out "MOVE IT!" right on cute in his cute, little boy voice, and everyone around us laughed.
You can still check out the website at http://www.madlive.com/ for video, games and future tour dates and cities.